Early Canberra



Posted on October 12, 2010 at 5:57 PM

I have included in the CAMPS section a draft for the revised edition  Builders of Canberra 1909-1929 the chapter on Permanent Hotels and Houses (known as HOUSES).  My intention was to put in a copy of the 1927 Sanitation Report which lists the major settlements, camps, hotels, houses, dairies etc - but managed to move the wrong article (had three on screen) - however, the draft should be of interest to people researching the early hotels, houses etc of Canberra.


The hotels were from the beginning in trouble to make ends meet.  The Hotel Canberra and Kurrajong were used during the period parliament sat, but became virtually empty during the other times of the year.  A major contributing factor, I believe, is that until late 1928 they were all dry. The sale of alcohol in the FCT was forbitten - could be brought in but not sold.  When the sale was permitted the only in lounges in the hotels and in three special cafes where the patrons had to sit at tables.  No barmaids were permitted.  The Hotels Canberra and Acton were permitted to sell alcohol and at times, the Kurrajong.  Although there was an extreme housing shortage for married couples and only the single men's camps (tent, cubicles and some barracks) for construction workers that even if those of this class could afford accommodation at the hotels or houses they could not obtain the better class accommodation.


The Hostels - Gorman House (known as Hotel Ainslie until the new Hotel was ready in 1927), Beauchamp House (now Ian Potter House), Brassey House (now Hotel Brassey), Printers' Quarters, Lady Hopetoun Club and Bachelors Quarters - had no problems with finding residents. The majority of residents in Gorman, Beauchamp and Lady Hopetoun Club were female.  Brassey had both men and women and the Bachelors Quarters  men only.  The Printers Quarters residents were in the main single men, but a few double quarters for married couples were available.


The Manuka Arcade did a number of single and double rooms available for rent and many people let out a room to people in search of accommodation.


The articles in this section provides some information about the times and how people amused themselves with numerous dances etc.  Further information about the Houses and Hostels are found in the web hidden canberra - you can click on to this web from the Home section of this web.

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